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Paris Hilton's Parents Join Reality TV Crowd

Following in their daughter's footsteps, parents of celebutant Paris Hilton will appear in their own reality series entitled "The Good Life" on NBC. The series will follow the couple as the oversee a group of ten young, and hopefully hot, women who are seeking to fulfill unrealized potential. Apart from that making no sense, the series will be filmed in the Hilton's New York City Waldorf Astoria and contestants will be voted off weekly in the usual manner. What they are competing for is not quite clear but it just might be fun to watch a bunch of over priviledged rich girls break down and cry as they get booted.

by Steve Hall    Apr-29-04    

Agencies and Networks Gather to Discuss TV Buying Process

Today, advertisers, agencies and representatives from ABC, CBS, FOX, UPN, WB, Turner and Court TV will attend the first of its kind meeting about how television advertising is bought during the upfront. The committee, called the Network Upfront Discussion Group, will look at how the upfront can be changed so that it is not the frenetic, overpriced folly it is today.

by Steve Hall    Apr-29-04    

Adidas Wins Big At One Show

Adidas has been named Advertiser of the Year at the 2004 One Show. This is the second year the One Show has singled out an advertiser for outstanding work in a variety of media. Last year, MINI USA was honored as Advertiser of the Year at the One Show, and Nike was named Advertiser of the Year for One Show Interactive.

Aside from two Merit finalists earned in One Show Interactive, all of the Adidas work honored this year came from the client's global advertising partner, 180TBWA, the alliance between independent Amsterdam-based agency 180 and TBWA Worldwide. Adidas won One Show and One Show Design Pencils for magazine, outdoor, TV, poster and collateral work, as well as an award in the One Show's new innovative marketing category. The work has a strong international bent to it, coming from agencies based in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-04    

Clear Channel Suffers Huge Ratings Loss After Booting Howard Stern

Clear Channel is getting what it deserves - a mass exodus of listeners after pulling Howard Stern off the air. The numbers are staggering. Following Clear Channel's dropping of Stern from San Diego station KIOZ, for example, ratings plummeted from a number one position with and 8.9 rating 12+ to number 27 with a 0.7 rating. For specific demos, the losses were even more staggering. For men 18+, ratings went from a 12.7 to a 0.7. For men 18-34, ratings went from a 20.6 to a 0.8. For 25-54, ratings went from a 10.1 to a 1.0.

As Jeff Jarvis so eloquently put it, the "FCC (and Clear Channel) is protecting no one" because no one is left listening.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-04    

Shonen Jump Magazine Partners With Dr. Pepper

Imported from Japan and launched in the U.S. in November, Shonen Jump Magazine, a manga-style comic book, has inked an advertising deal with Dr. Pepper that will begin with the June issue. As part of the deal, Dr. Pepper will launch a "Be You, Be a Pepper, Be Manga" contest in which readers can submit manga-style cartoons of themselves drinking Dr. Pepper. Twenty finalists will be selected and posted on the Shonen Jump website. Readers will then vote to determine the winner who will receive a Trek mountain bike.

The magazine currently has 177,000 paid U.S. subscribers. The Japanese edition has 3.4 million.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-04    

Advertising Industry Turns to Neuroscience For Next Paradigm Shift

If the words "paradigm shift" make you roll your eyes and puke then you best be near a toilet when you read this. A bunch of neuroscientists are marching on Madison Avenue with "revolutionary" research about how people think claiming consumers are becoming more active in the processing of commercial messages.

At yesterday's Advertising Research Foundation conference in New York, "chief mystic" and McCann Worldgroup VP Director of Research and Insight Joseph Plummer said, "I see a new power emerging. The customer, the consumer, or the public is emerging as a power." Well Seth Godin's been saying that for years. It's not new. Oh, but let's not spoil the party. Plummer went on to say the industry is entering the third of three paradigm shifts in mass marketing. The first was the advent of mass marketing controlling information flow. The second was the growth of megalopolies that controlled media and retail. The third is this apparent consumer uprising and claiming of power.

Who knows. Maybe it's all true and I should go back to posting pictures of Britney Spears but let's continue for a bit just for fun.

A new research effort will be launched by both the Advertising Research Foundation and the American Association of Advertising Agencies in three phases. The first will involved the collection of existing data on how the mind works which will be completed by Harvard guru Gerald Zaltman. The second will compile new research being done by a dozen firms that "measures of story-telling campaigns," which, by the way, is how researchers hypothesize we like our campaigns. Sort of like that Folger's coffee romance. The third will be comprised of what researchers are calling the "co-creation of stories" which gets into the heady notion of consumers processing commercial messages through their "existing thought structure" and then "create new meaning" from that message exposure.

Whoa. Kinda makes one long for the days of the door to door Fuller Brush dude who could sell all kinds of weird household stuff to seemingly gullible housewives. Oh don't go having a "politically correct" fit over this. It's just the way it was. Go ask my Mom.

Predictably, it was a creative person who had a problem with this psycho-babble. DDB Worldwide Chairman Keith Reinhard said scientists should stay in the lab and let the creatives worry about the best ways to communicate with consumers claiming, "Artists have always intuitively known this. That's why they are artists." Oh, please. Advertising creative is not art. It's creativity for the sole purpose of moving product from the warehouse into the consumer's hands.

To be fair to both sides, this is a worthy conversation to have. The control over how media and advertising reaches the consumer is changing dramatically and so must the methods by which marketers deploy marketing to consumers. The old ways are dying. The new ways aren't quite here yet but it's going to be fun watching all those PowerPoint presentations from people who think they have all the answers.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-04    

Christina Not Nude In Virgin Mobil Ads But Faking Orgasm Instead

Earlier there was a story claiming Christina Aguilera had banned all but the necessary few from the set of a photo shoot she was doing for a Virgin Atlantic ad campaign because she was apparently going to appear nude. A more likely reason for the ban, as reported in the Sun, is that she was faking an orgasm Meg Ryan-style for the ad and got squeamish about crew members drooling while listening to her seductive moans.

Maybe next week there will be reports of the set being cleared because she farted for some art director who thought it'd be genius to spoof Budweiser's farting horse Super Bowl commercial.

by Steve Hall    Apr-27-04    

David Beckham to Sign With Gillette

Worldwide soccer star David Becham is reportedly about to sign a multi-year deal with Gillette to be the corporate spokesperson. The deal, worth an estimated $30 to $50 million, will commence late Summer with a campaign said to support a new razor that will compete with Schick's Quattro.

by Steve Hall    Apr-27-04    

'Friends' Finale to Cost Big Bucks

Rivaling the cost of an ad in the Super Bowl, the final episode of "Friends' is commanding $2 million per 30 seconds of commercial airtime. It's the largest figure ever charged for a sitcom and is just under the $2.3 million paid for the Super Bowl. Companies that have ponied up the big bucks are Pepsi, Hewlett-Packard, Vivendi Universal, Walt Disney, Anheuser-Busch and General Electric.

by Steve Hall    Apr-27-04    

Following Lingerie Commercial, Kylie Wonders Why Guys Won't Stand

Claiming Agent Provocateur lingerie to be the most provocative in the world, Kylie Minogue says she can prove it with the help of the viewer. To do so, she writhes sexually atop a mechanical bull in this ad then asks all the men in the audience to stand up. Of course, none of them do...or can without embarressment. This, of course harkens back to every guy's hot yet nightmarish memory of a time when, as a kid, he simply could not contain is "appreciation" for that young hottie, who was the daughter of his parent's friends and was over for dinner, at the same moment when his mother asked him to stand up and help clear the table, forcing him to turn red and instantly come up with all manner of excuse not to stand up and reveal the "appreciation" threatening to burst open his zipper.

by Steve Hall    Apr-27-04    

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